This week of sacred first harvest, let me return to the most simple and vital wisdom I could ever give out on this site. The invitation to set aside the chatter of your head, put down any and all e-devices including tv, and get back to your home.
The constant whir of busyness, of personal and political tumult, of stress and sickness and crisis, is not consistent with the nature of true reality.
It is an indicator of the collective soul sickness of humanity.
Your part in the collective impacts not just you, but the collective. You are made and remade by it, much as you make and remake it.
Your true natural state is one of safety, love, vulnerability, joy, healing, grace and connectivity.
Get back outside where the unfettered rhythm of life is untouched by satellite or cell tower interference.
Let the grandness, the power of the earth and the sun and the moon in the consistency of their infinite dance do what it does. What its bigness is meant to do.
This is the root of real magic.
This is the rising of the ocean’s tide, highest at the gravitational peak of full or new moon. This is the rising of sap in the tree, result of the tension of the elements of the seasons. This is busting seed into both deep down root and breaking ground bud. This is the power of fruit and flower into full bloom.
This too is the source: the reliable recycling of life energy eating itself to birth newness again, again, and again.
Be still, and know this. Patience. Change comes.
This practice is available at any time for any living being to access. There are no secrets, only breaking down or putting down the defenses built up against the patterned chaos of Wild.
It requires you only to re-connect to it. Never underestimate the body’s ability to, in my friend Sepideh’s words, recalibrate, once we’ve gotten our body back onto the earth and away from all the distracting artifice.
My own mental and soul health cannot be separated. Recently, after the loss of my long time wise woman elder, I found myself experiencing professional and personal burn out. I knew that now more than ever it was necessary I heed my own “wisdom”–a word that I use always to mean that which translates from one’s own, personal experiences. 10 years ago I made the commitment to my self that I would travel the road, wherever it took me, to be able ultimately to work for myself, according to my own wisdom, soul, passions, and medicine. That I would blaze my own trail, whatever that took.
I arrived here, back to me, my own hand-built life and dream, over this past year. Who could know that the spiritual mentor, my wise woman Gretchen, whose guidance so surely and regularly led me back to my own while on that path, would depart the earth at the same time as my own arrival into this level of self-autonomy. I had to reach down deeply and trust my own life.
I examined the calendar and chose a week to take off completely. To turn off e-devices and get away from all distractions entirely, to disconnect from the go go go pace of the do do do material world. I chose the time of the month of nature’s elemental reset, the dark moon’s balsamic wane, before the moon remerges as new each month, that I’d make my return. I chose the time of the year when the growing season of summer leans into its own great pause, a great expanse of release and rest, from which the quickening of energy will then surge of itself into first Harvest.
My dark to new moon tide staycation, the dark tide that would birth us into this moon cycle right now, Thursday’s full moon: First Harvest for those in the Northern hemisphere.
My dark moon staycation took what I knew it would, days to simply allow for the stress of my MindBody, my somatic muscle memory juiced and running on amped up nervous system, to dissipate. Then time and more time: it took more days, of moment to moment existing, fire building, cooking fish in the coals, swimming for hours, tent pitching, surfing for hours, laying on the earth in hot drenched sand or beneath trees drowsy with a book over my chest. No agenda, no drive. Just right now with mama nature’s healing rest.
It’s a lot of years I’ve walked this path, and returning to me by returning to her has never led me wrong or let me down. It is always a reset to the imprint of my rhythm, and it is always stunning to me the unexpected doses of harmony and serendipity that occur whenever I do.
It is always a practical miracle how much more I am resourced from within when allow for that reconnection.
Whether or not you nerd out on tracking your own life by the tides of the moon and the seasons of the year as I do, on the real, actual alchemy of it–this medicine can return any of us back to the great majesty of truth in Life:
We are all connected in this sacred web. We create, much as we are created.
The magic of the female body is the rhythmic reliability of this very understanding. The fertility of the full moon is reflected in the peak hormonal time for menstruating women during ovulation each month. At ovulation the psyche is inspired and sparkly. The decline and reflection of the waning moon is aligned with the interior, hormonal alchemy of reflection and release. If we learn to take the time to treat our bodies with reverence, rest and quietude during this time, conscious transformation happens on the psychological, spiritual and physical levels when the period comes.
Learn how to deprogram from the artifice of the material world’s rhythm. The world devalues the feminine orientation of process and change, intuition and emotion. So you must choose to value it in order to find your own rhythm, and to further explore how and in what special, unique ways your own rhythm aligns with nature. This is a gift that will certainly come as result.
To me, it is the gift. The great grace of living. Magic.
Lunar Lammas, celebrated traditionally Aug 2 as Lammas, is reflected the world around in agricultural and indigenous societies that follow the cycles of growth and decline in nature. It is celebrated as a women’s or lunar mystery when the moon grows full while in the sun sign Leo, which this year is this Thursday night, peaking on Friday afternoon.
It comes to us as an imprint of when the late daylight and ample moonlight allowed for the stocking up on the harvest of this season’s fruit, vegetables, and animals.
It is, as all sabbat(h)s or holy days on the earth path, when we too can consciously deepen into a meaningful flow of our own day to day living by being reflective about what we have made of or with our own life.
The energy of a full moon lasts about three days. It holds us still. My sister Chantal, who leads our moon circles, reminded us this week that this week’s full moon is accompanied by a lunar eclipse.
Mama moon, some say, dictates our inner life and systems, what’s under the surface. Eclipse is when her light is blocked by the earth, which some might say dictates growth in the material, concrete world. So count on something deep in the interior life transformed by your own willingness to release or make changes in specific details of your outer life.
Llewellyn’s moon sign datebook, that tells when to plant, fish, and harvest by the moon tides–given by my soul sis Beth–suggests that we lay low this weekend as this eclipse may generate anger: “fury and wrath.”
In my experience, disembodied rage is an entry point to calling the self or soul back to the self, back to the body. The world devalues the individual’s right to his or her own body’s experience. It devalues the emotional truth of this, too. So when overpowering anger happens, this is often the start of a healing experience that can allow for deep-seated core beliefs (what I frequently call shame stories) to bubble to the surface. Be mindful, for both the deep masculine and the deep feminine lay beneath disembodied rage. Fury lingers as a defense to the wound of the body being not allowed to trust itself. Rage is an indicator and fuel for true inner transformation.
What a powerful tide this could be, if the eclipse helps us alchemize the hurts and faulty beliefs underneath our anger!?
The tide of energy is on the side of creation this week! It is on the side, by the weekend, of active release.
Remember, when we release something it is often helpful to be mindful of what we wish to grow in its place. You get to choose that, if you’re willing to keep returning back to the process of helping it grow!
So most important, what is your flow? How are you feeling? What do you really need?
Ask. Listen. You are more powerful than the world would ever, ever have you believe.
Be mindful of the anger at the gate to your truth.
Experience you, learn from your own medicine, your own life experience: your unique Wisdom.
Who we are is what and how we do. Embrace your harvest, friends.
Get outside and celebrate, because you’re here, and you can.
Lammas blessings!!! Begin, again~
image, Antonio Rubino, 1907
Death has been a primary teacher for me.
This started when I was 20, that epic summer me and a bestie and a brother who’s now passed from drugs travelled an 11,000 mile circle around our country. Two decades ago already.
A week before that trip started, a young man my brother and I grew up car-pooling to school, lunchtime swim sessions bologna sandwiches bmx bikes and saving the princess with, got killed in a gnarly car accident on the side of I-95. My brother was invited to be on the trip in the car with him but did not go.
That tragedy shook us down.
A week after we lost him, right at the start of the summer on Solstice tide, my Grammy died. She and my pop who died in 87 had this little two bedroom plus an attic house right inside the city line, Brooklyn Park, Bmore Maryland, USA. They brought 7 kids and near three times the amount of grandkids to this world.
So between losing Grammy and our neighborhood homie, that summer I went on the road the first time death was running my ass down.
Later, by the time I got the La Catrina put on my back, I was well versed in death wisdom. I was sober by then. I had buried countless friends to drug addiction and its associated physical and mental fall out. I had also undergone a powerful inward transformation as the result of the end of a longterm romance. Endings are a kind of death. That ending initiated me into the power of the Darkness as the realm of the Feminine.
The year I lived way out on the river to grieve the ending of that part of my life, La Catrina used to call to me on the river wind. I mean it. I was an english teacher to undocumented, mostly Mexican students. I lived on the river and confronted who I am alone? I was reading for the upteeeenth time Women Who Run With the Wolves, and in reverence daily with “my inner wild wisdom” as I’d taken to calling that endless, indestructible still point within. La Catrina became for me that point of reverence, that river below the river, that ONE life that holds all. She even showed up on an artist date with me, a ceramic figurine in a little store that used to sit on a corner at the docks in downtown Annapolis. That figurine and a similar one sit atop my alter as I write this right now.
Death is our one fundamental truth as humans. The only thing that’s guaranteed.
My embracing of this particular wisdom is the single motive behind why I jump into my life with passion and presence and vitality a day at a time. It’s how I maintain loving as much as I possibly can.
The female body knows all about this metaphor of death, dying, decrease. Our body’s teach us every month. Dark wisdom. For the feminine, through the death, rebirth, life, death cycle our biology inherently experiences, holds all gnosis concerning the secrets of life. In the soul work, the women’s wisdom soul work, we look at the parts of us we had to kill off to survive. We embrace the healing of grieving for those old wounds and losses, and in that way, breathe life and living, rebirth, back into our heart’s broken spaces.
Today is an important day in the Samhain tide. All Souls Day for the Catholics, this is the final day of the Los Dias De Los Muertos, the day in which we pray for the souls of our dead.
From the Wisdom of the Dark Feminine perspective, it is a power tide for naming our own losses to self, for both women and men. A great equalizer, death or the Thantos archetype in the soul is part of the continuum of the balance of life. When we embrace who we have become because of what we have let go. And perhaps, who we are still yet to be by re-embracing parts of ourselves we killed off or forced away.
The full moon peaks this weekend. Death on the medicine wheel reminds us. What has been, is, and is yet to be all emerges from the same place. This is a moon to tend this.
Samhain tide. When we are called with reverence to the fleetingness of life. To embrace, celebrate, grieve, give thanks. And maybe? To get real… That is a medicine of death and dying to me. To practically look at the truth of things. At what simply is.
When we give ourselves the freedom of this clean kind of looking at life, space is created because we no longer resist what we cannot change. When we look at what is real then we can transform not what we see, but how we choose to respond.
A good meditation on the day of prayer for All Souls.
I walk a lot on empty beaches. It helps me breathe from muscly places in my belly that otherwise I can’t feel because they’re so deep. So last Monday I guess it was, walking along the roiled and wilen coast, beholding the brown and black and steel greys of Hurricane Maria’s deeps, there came this fleeting thought. You could go camping Thursday, if so and so falls into place…there’s a window you could squeeze it in and camp until work Friday at noon.
I went camping because I could and because it meant forcing myself, because it’s lofty camping on your own, the reality of it, and takes work to follow it through.
I set my tent on the bayside of one of our barrier islands that is also a national park. Basic. Satisfied. There was a natural arbor of wild grape vines behind my little dome that opened into a wooded purple stained path leading to the water. I cruised to the beach. It was a gorgeous day, windy still from the passing of Maria, a storm whose effect was surged and shuddered oceans, thankfully no impact on our lil mid-Atlantic spits of swampy forest and farm lands. It was 17 mph that day and the sea stacked her sets, breaking two and even three peaks one on top the other, crossing and cursing currents also ripped by longshore tides. I got to the beach and no one was in and barely anyone was there. Far out were two surfers catching nothing. I used my fins to swim and the lifeguard watched from a truck for 10 minutes before leaving me to my whim.
By the end of the swim I was restless. I went camping because care for my soul life and nurturing it is, at the end of the day, up to only me. It is not a pill I can take, it comes down to how I choose to feed the parts I feel but cannot see. I went back to camp, then walked out to the Bay. I wrote just to write, the other sure fire practice that personally illumines my life, helps me feel like I’m living my hours in a way that’s more filled in.
Now, it is harvest week, the last full moon of the growing season. Growth: concept of momentum, of stored energy completing its cycles of motion, of sugared sun translating from storage to fruit. The moon peaks full Thursday. From there on the cycles wheel us deeper and deeper underground.
I spent yesterday’s quiet practice reflecting on all the experiences of the year. It’s been a hard one. A flippen lot of pain, death and illnesses and other loss. It has also been rich with celebration and good relations: women’s medicine, and being close to the earth, to family joy, to art, to nurtured time with dear friends.
And in all, deep-tilling the ground from which I’ll grow my dreams.
Back at camp, over the bay the sun dropped. For a half hour or so I beheld the experience, did nothing other than witness just to see how that would go.
Walking back to my tent was twinkly twilight glee, an energy pouring into and out of me like a child. The fire I built was from kindling I hatcheted myself!! I ate fish cooked over the grate and these two experiences alone fulfilled me like nothing else I can really say…
Then the stars, how every one that appeared signaled some new part of myself that showed up and I want it to be clear, how the glee passed and how uncomfortable that was, sitting still with the funked out shit of my personal experiences this year. I sat and sat, unplugged 100% and decompressing from that, because I know unquestionably that while it isn’t always immediate: Nature heals the soul.
Eventually, many hours into the night, came peace, and the sweetness of being inwardly still, a being among beingness, with the burnt down embers of my fire and the marvel of all those specs of sparkle stars.
Nature restores my inward settings, it has yet again helped me process which is how I keep moving. Of that knowing, and the reality for me this year that writing and creative downtime are not only non-negotiables but that this has zero to do with production for commodity value, I am proud to say my Harvest this year is part of my day to day.
I emerge this Harvest week sure of the same ol medicine. The soul life is up to only me to tend for me, and its absence manifests in all ways physical and mental, of that it’s a guarantee.
That’s a lot of bounty I’d say, and so it was that Poetry came through to reflect it for me the next morning at camp over hot coffee and stunning late September blue, as Poetry expressing the Wild Nature does oh yes, oh yes it does!!
There is a deeper fact in the soul than compensation, to wit, its own nature. The soul is not a compensation, but a life. The soul is. Under all this running sea of circumstance, whose waters ebb and flow with perfect balance, lies the aboriginal abyss of real Being. Essence, or God, is not a relation or a part, but the whole.
From “Compensation”, in Essays and Poems, Ralph Waldo Emerson
What a year, no? Our first moon cycle in 2017 inaugurated a man as the leader of our metaphoric house who bragged about the exploitation and objectification of the female body. Our values supported this.
The normalization of exploitation in this house is unacceptable.
The female body. The female body. The female body.
How is your house? How are you tending your one true sacred space?
At home–here on earth, our first and most taken for granted body–what’s it been like for you? What level of your own shame stories, meaning your internal narratives about your worth, about being or not being good enough, about your rights, have you become more aware of this year?
How mindful of the stress you are carrying, its physicality, are you? The stories that your body is carrying about you and your experience?
How well have you been at declaring your own right to your own path of unique heart, spirit, soul?
From an earth-based perspective, the growing season of the year relies as much on what has decomposed being turned under, transforming to nutrients, as it does on the potentiality of wild starry fruits blossoming from a single seed. It is an endless continuum of stages and cycles, from dying and dark to birthing, blooming, fruiting, and harvesting, too.
When the moon is dark she is between the earth and the sun, and her other half sends the light of the sun back at itself. We here on earth fall still in her darkness, a holding, receptive gravity.
The moon holds all, receptive and active.
When she is active or full she is at the height of light, actually reflecting the light of the sun back on us here on earth.
Between these two polarities are the fluidity of transitions of dark and light. Metaphoric, yes. And also cyclic and specific. Both applications, and all their subtleties, are necessary. Again, the feminine holds all.
From a menstrual perspective, we track our personal moons. Chances are our personal moon doesn’t follow the actual moon. So we use the moon’s phases as a metaphor to understand both the biology and psychology of the feminine psyche.
The new moon as metaphor is day one, or when we first bleed. When we first bleed, we are dying and birthing at once, as now we re-engage the solar or ovulatory, fertile aspect of our selves. As the days of our cycle accumulate, we track where we are. We learn to re-embody the fluidity of the inter-lobal functioning of the female body, for again, the feminine holds all. For example, at stage four, the Gibbous moon, which can be anywhere from about day 7 through day 17 depending on your unique, beautiful and powerful body, we undergo an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). There is a rise in estrogen level and left hemisphere brain activity and simultaneous testosterone and right hemisphere activity and increase in libido. Read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom to learn more!
Our discharge is known at this time as E-type mucus, which is when small tubules are present in our discharge that hold sperm! This is us in our fertile, almost full cycle. At stage 5, our metaphoric full moon, G-type mucus immediately follows the release of our ovum, and this sort of mucus actually keeps us from getting pregnant. Like the moon at her peak active phase when she’s full, our bodies too lean from our full momentum back into ourselves. And so at peak fertility we start again towards the reflective, recycling, dark and dying phases.
The growing season on earth follows these 8 stages, too!
Lammas, again using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, can be understood as stage 6, the Disseminating Moon. Like for the year! Disseminating moon, according to Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon is the “first stirring of dark,” when the seed has become what it was meant and the “life impulse must fulfill, distribute energy and disseminate and share the value of the meaning.” From a menstrual perspective, it is “the luteal phase” when “we turn more inward, preparing to develop or give birth from something deep within ourselves.” (Northrup, 2010)
Disseminating moon is the fruiting phase, or harvest. Whether an ovum has been fertilized, or it was the fertility of a new idea that peaked, maybe a transformed inner narrative, or however it was that you lived out this growing cycle psychologically, biologically, spiritually and creatively, the disseminating moon phase from a menstrual perspective is the fruiting time, our first harvest. After peak fertility phase.
And so it is we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest of the earth’s natural growing year. People who tend these concepts, embodying them and staying close to nature, outside with feet grounded upon her and skin and blood and biology and body in one rhythmic inhalation exhalation of all that is, recognize this as connected to a variety of different anthropological rites. Traditions the world over acknowledge with celebration the bounty of fruit on the vine at summer’s height.
From a lunar perspective, which for me is the feminine-embodied perspective, we celebrate Lunar Lammas when the moon is in the sun sign of Leo and full.
So, ya with me? We learn to track the phases of the moon, and then to metaphorically apply these phases. They can inform the dark and light aspects of our biology, and of the seasons of the year. We too learn to hold all, to think quantum or multi-dimensionally, to hold our still point within, and All At Once at once!
Lunar Lammas is the full moon on Monday, August 7, this year. Already the sun-made shadows of heaping breathy green tree walls here are muddled, that certain angle of soupy dark I so love.
Mind what this moon cycle brings. It is your harvest. What will you reap? Mind what stories live, what experiences happen. Mind your light and your dark. Mind your experiences this month from a reflective viewpoint that holds the continuum of the year, all those spirals of moon around the far side of the earth and back to between the earth and sun, again and again.
What is illuminated under the active light of her reflecting back the height of the summer sun? For that is what happens on Lunar Lammas.
Unplug from your computer or other e-devices. Leave your phone in the car and get outside. Restore your natural circadian rhythm from all that electronic interference.
Give yourself back to yourself. Back to your body. Back to the earth. The natural perfect spheres of rhythm. Happy first harvest season friends~!!
To understand more, make some time and visit my Facebook page. We will spend this month learning more about the moon’s 8 phases.
This full moon presents us with a reality highlight. A shining on who we are in our most present, day to day, practical ways.
Who we are is how we Be.
Discernment can be tough when it comes to understanding what I mean. Societal arousal is high. The open, gaping wound of fear-driven, hate-talk projections can be so consuming We all easily forget that we co-create our experience, we are not victims, we are powerful not powerless, imagination is infinite and love is pure and transformational, we are responsible, we can begin within.
Nature teaches. What we sow we reap, and this is what begin within means.
Begin within. What stories do you tell yourself? Literally, what does your self-talk look like?
Do you listen to your inner guidance? Do you trust yourself?
Begin again. Do you take time to feed yourself instead of over-caffenate? Do you constantly expose yourself to an endless steam of social media and click bait content, chemically co-creating your own addiction to hyper-arroused cortisol, your stress hormone? Do you fall to sleep with your head wired to electronics? Is it how you wake?
This also is food, what your brain, heart, and soul absorb.
Begin again. How are your relations? One basic tool I practice is that if my relationships with others are off it usually means I am not being accountable to my own relationship to my self. What I don’t confront within myself I will act out in my relations. This is called projection.
Baby steps. Be gentle with self-truth.
How are you feeling and what do you need to be accountable to? Meaning how do I feel, in my body, right now? What do I need?
Gentle, gentle. Begin again:
People who come from environments where displacing their needs was the norm, like those who experienced normalized dangers like violence or poverty, who had an abuser in the home, who had untreated substance abuse in the home, were taught it wasn’t safe. They unconsciously, through the normalization of this is not safe, learn that it is unacceptable to feel because to survive meant silencing or repeatedly ignoring the normal metabolic, stress-relieving processes of feeling. Folks like this may struggle with the concepts in this post.
That silencing, that self-shaming, becomes a part of your chemical program. It creates the perceptions you have of safety and the world around you. If these normalized traumas exist in the home, we call it systemic because it is of the family system. If it exists in the community, we call it cultural. There is almost always a relationship between one and the other.
What we don’t work out, we act out.
Woman as sexualized object is so normalized that we are accused of sexualizing our selves if we dress in ways that flatter our body. Consider how normalized this dangerous ideal is of shaming the female body.
This is crazy. Name it. Feel it. Break down patterns inside yourself that support shame. Breakdown paves the way for breakthrough.
Woman as caretaker is so normalized that mothers and wives often believe they must carry the entire emotional reality of their children and husband/partner. Consider how dangerous this is to shaming your own rights to your own needs, and how dangerous it is to the system because it teaches everyone that they don’t have to be accountable to their own.
This is crazy. Name it. Feel it. Breakdown paves the way for breakthrough.
Often coming into real health for folks can first look and feel crazy! Because when an individual starts to see that she was taught to participate in the normalization of negating her own needs in order to survive it can feel like she is going crazy. Breaking denial deregulates a persons entire reality.
Break down paves the way for breakthrough.
Healing is a process, health is a process. Transformation happens. Begin within.
Begin within. Begin now. What stories do you tell yourself about your ability, your right to meet your own needs? About what you need and what would happen if you gave yourself the self-care you need?
This moon highlights the peak growing season of spring. Metabolic storages of sunshine getting ready to transform to fruit and bounty! Begin again. Tolerance and love can only be practiced when we are in the habit of tending it inside ourselves. This is an active energy moon, manifesting! Tolerate your truth without judgement. Tolerate your own shame, your own feelings, any self-shaming stories or ways within you with the compassion you would give a best friend. This moon WILL highlight (GROW) whatever your energy level is…which is connected to your stress…which is connected to your self-stories and relationships…which is connected to how you feed your own needs.
Begin within: What are you exposing yourself to? How can you reframe what you are feeling, what you tell yourself, to understand it as your own needs crying out to be met?
What is seen beneath this moon the elders used to say was prophetic! This ain’t metaphysics hahaha! Simply put, we are complicit: we are accountable to how free we keep the infinite source of our heart, our mind, our soul. We are accountable to our choices and how they interconnect us in relationships. Begin within, what do you sow? How consciously, gratefully, joyously do you choose to take this one chance we get to live? This moon is a spotlight into that.
It will grow us toward the peak of the light season–summer’s start. This moon tide will hold us to ourselves, full moons bring the tension of more light, literally the sunlight reflected back at us in the middle of the night sky… Sunlight that increases until it pitches to its height at the Solstice, and after that–harvest or growth will be a momentum that we are already in the middle of.
So Now is a time to tend. Now is the time. Always. Right now. It’s all we have.
Begin again. Be gentle. If you want to change the world, start within yourself. Change happens within with the soft steadiness of love.
Happy Full moon, friends xo
Beltane, if celebrated on the lunar-led earth path of the medicine wheel, is tonight.
Ancestors used to celebrate Beltane as the traditional start of summer.
Think fire, passion!! May Day, when maidens danced the Maypoles and the lusty earth was potent with the growing BLOSSOMS that at spring were birthed! When certainly some of those ancestors made love to celebrate the union of romance and marriage, as the union of sun and earth that produced the fertility of crops every year.
What a special time to think of LOVE.
Agape LOVE. Unconditionally altruistic, life giving, accepting. Transformative. Eros love, the craving for union, the longing for self and other as One. DIVINE LOVE.
I start tending my “dark” side at Halloween. On the medicine wheel, I walk an embodied daily understanding of as within, so without, and vice versa. For me, this is the truest way to be in sacred relations to all of life.
What this means is that when the days darken, I tend the season of the dark. I take it as reality that from Fall Equinox onward, and especially when we reach November and the time changes, this is a time when I am closest to my own interior darkness.
Recall (from Wild Women Wisdom, Ovulation and the Active Imagination, Nov 13, 2014) that the psyche projects its earliest understanding of dualistic thinking. Dualism is self and other. Think as well of opposites, mom and dad, good and bad, right and wrong becomes internalized as the right worldview. Good behavior is behavior that gets positive feedback so all else is bad behavior. This becomes an unconscious way we relate to the world!
Dualism is the nature of consciousness. Carl Jung deepened our modern understanding of this by helping us realize that what we are conscious of, our thoughts and feelings that we can see or name, has a compensatory opposite energy too that we can’t or don’t. He called this our shadow.
Basically, what we associate with as bad we will stuff into our shadow, where it dominates the unconscious. In this way, what we don’t work out will get acted out. Or as Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Tonight, and in general what is peaking or being brought to the light right now, is related to your conscious or unconscious experiences from late October onward.
One of the reasons (from Wild Women Wisdom, Wildness on the Full Moon Tide, Jan 5, 2015) women repress their strength or natural association with the realm of the feminine godhead (and therefor with the realm of the collective unconscious) is because we in Western society esteem a male God. Meaning the feminine has been relegated to the shadow.
The feminine, however, was at one time divined among many other aspects through menstrual mysteries.
During the 14th and 15th centuries 9 million women burnt at the stake because of a document known as the malleus maleficarum which associated menstrual mysteries with being a witch (see Shuttle and Redgrove’s (2005) The Wise Wound for more info.)
Inherent feminine wisdom, or the biological fact that we are cyclical and rhythmic just as the moon and the sun, the seasons and the tides, had to be buried deep within the collective psyche. It was demonized or repressed, which means shamed to the extent that rhythmic knowledge of one’s own psyche either as a female, or in regards to anima or feminine instincts, became associated with Satanism!
Lets consider more closely the archetypal mind of the Goddess, or the feminine divine, as a counterpart to the more known and illumined God. The Goddess oversees the realm of dark, night, intuition, death and rebirth (because the female rules the women’s mysteries, of which birth is one) receptivity, and on a more temporal or practical level, emotions, though that is equally an embodied male or animus or egoic part of the process as well (see Ann Ulanov’s interpretation for more on this.)
Bessel van der Kolk is a doctor who coined the term developmental or complex trauma. This is when the nervous system experiences normalized, environmental traumas like untreated substance abuse in the family, domestic violence, or poverty, among other things.
I would like to suggest that the wound of the feminine, or the collective suppressing of the power of the feminine, is an untreated complex trauma in society at large.
In my own experience, healing it means healing the wound of, in Erich Neumann’s words, the patriarchal uroboros in the feminine psyche.
Uroboros is the snake eating its own tail. Think about it. If the feminine’s strength is the darkness, and the darkness is also what’s been demonized both through the repression of feminine instinct as well as as the demonization of dark as wrong or bad, well then. That’s kind of a problem that, like the uroboros, is self-perpetuating.
This Beltane my dear friends, WRITE ON YOUR HEART A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF TO LOVE YOURSELF WHOLE AGAIN: Shame shames shame. The shame cycle is part of the nebulous core of almost all complex traumas. SHAME SHAMES SHAME. This is the patriarchal uroboros.
Begin within. Healing is about awareness, keeping right relations within by starting to love yourself by being with exactly how you are feeling right now. Healing is about softening, utilizing the Wise self to be with, to accept what is right now. To accept unconditionally gives us the choice to Love. To serve and to create union with the shadowed aspects that the Full moon illumines.
At Beltane, let us align our Wise selves with the sacred heart of Divine Love inside of each of us, and transform shame. Healing is not so much an action plan as a way in which we learn to unconditionally accept and relate to our self.
This be my prayer for us all!
“LOVE OR FEAR? You have to love yourself. You have to feel that you deserve to be happy and that you deserve to live and you deserve to love. Because two emotions can’t exist at the same time…Emotions are the tone of your whole BodyMind.” Dr. Candace Pert
The human MindBody is QUANTUM. Repeat that a million times while smiling and chanting YUM over and over in the harmony of Om, and educate yourself about it until you understand what I mean.
The moon navigates us gravitationally. Up down up down. Repeat this, too.
The western wound of the Feminine is a metaphoric understanding that demonizes the role of emotions–the flow of nuropeptides-– and therefor creates an adverse affect, or literally the back-up of emotions in our body. So I will name this wound metaphorically the Role of the Victim.
What areas in your life do you self-vicitimize? Dig on it, think on it. I’ll say it again: The wound of the Feminine translates in the body as the wound of not being allowed to feel. VICTIM.
We experience Shame for feelings. We Shame Our Feelings. Which is a spiral, the Shame Cycle. I shame how I feel so that chemically, when I feel, I feel shame. DANG! It keeps the Victim in place.
And guess what, you can get addicted to that bad-feeling fear-based Shame Cycle!
Cognitive behavior therapy is an inherent behavioral science that underlies all EBT (evidence based treatment) models for therapy, and is elsewhere found in the 12-steps. From a Cog B perspective, we might say VICTIM is a Core Belief. Maybe The Core Belief? In any case, most of us know what it’s like to walk around with repressed fear at our core, for sure.
Victim. I deserve or belong in pain. I am worth Nothing.
How do you relate to being a Victim in your own life? What about Martyr?? There’s a real connection here to codependency in relationships, too.
We disown our own needs all the time because we pathologize everything haha because of that whole addicted to feeling bad thing, and pathologizing keeps that secured!
Why do we deny our needs?
We receive a million stories a day that a) We can’t change the way things are (because we’re Victims) and also B)Feeling anything but positive is wrong. Haha so then we depress our feelings. Because it’s wrong to feel bad. And so then what do we do? Try to medicate them! AND YOUR BRIAN CHANGES EVERY TIME YOU CHRONICALLY MEDICATE FEELINGS! Learn about the science of addictions! The science of the BodyMind! LORD! Learning to name feelings and feeling them. Check your self. For real. What ways do you Victimize your self? Cuz you believe it’s easier than feeling how you feel, and owning what you need?
It’s worth a look.
On the somatic level this impacts your immune system. To depress your feelings and other basic (think Maslow) physiological needs. And then shows up in your hormones. Which have to do biologically with how you process stress and also, is impacted by your diet and other genetic and environmental factors including being fed and getting enough sleep. This wiring gets passed on to your kids! And is ultimately, again, about whether or not those basic needs are met, and then if we are able to process stress and deal with our emotions day to day.
SUCH MIRACLES we each are, if we get mindful about our miraculous capacities! Literally. Mindfulness is the Healer Within. Such miracles we are even if we’re not mindful of it! Either way 🙂
This conversation is different from chemical imbalances that people suffer with, requiring medication in order to function. That’s very real. But it’s also related, because in the same conversation we could look at how many of those peoples are a composite of at least a generation of unprocessed complex trauma (basic needs not met, power dynamics that create neglect or abuse in the family, community or home) and they end up dealing with said familial or societal imbalance through substance use and abuse, which takes us back to the neuropeptides of emotions again, and the soft wiring of DNA Feels, and unmet needs.
In any case. Own your needs by getting real with your self about what is really real in your life, right now.
And at least open your mind with me when I suggest that there is Collective Subconsciousness to Patterns. That show up, against the very real cycles of practical things like Nature’s Growing Season. I mean. You’re living and growing, right? I sure hope so.
The Wound Of The Feminine is in us ALL. It begins within. That’s all.
In every place I’ve ever lived I’ve made habit of going out walking. The funniest walk habit that just pops to mind is in Easton and wild crafting out of people’s manicured or otherwise front lawns. I got sick I guess from chemicals once. Here in Laguna Canyon if I go out walking that can mean all through out the nooks and crannies of Hobbit Lane or it can mean an artfest or it can mean an entire little village next to the sea or it can mean to the sea, and even up to the heart of town where my laundry gets done and coffee is roasted. All this on foot.
It also can mean in to the canyon and its million different wild paths…which is where the instinct led me today. First, all thanks under this sacred tide for the fact that the life I wanted to lead, led by my own tides, has come to be. Last year’s intention of commitment and Nature and Hearth and Poet-heart gnosis magic.
I was so into my street bc really, crevices of fairy ribbons and green. All over the place. Like I got home and later before I sat to write this but after the hike about which I write, a little black cat even w the lime green eyes came and stared in my screen. I have seen her once before and that was when she crossed my path last night 🙂
But what I came here to write about is the Imbolc Tide and how that found me, or led me? to the canyon today. Meaning to me that since the moon got into her last quarter wane you can feel the Imbolc archetype in it–in the wild outside. Sap Rise. Nature of things.
It said, like almost with words if words were capable of feeling in your body, which I guess yea they are–how some words like names or places give you a feeling. The words like fresh air on my skin were the canyon, how would it be to be in the canyon today? And also at once I could see-feel the brown and rain-green against the vibrating blue.
So out I went through Hobbitt Lane and then next was wild crafting in the canyon, mostly just checking in with the tender primacy of the new shoots, gathering their smells and basic habitats–growing companions etcetera. And so off I went on one unmarked path, one of the first you hit on the trail at the bottom of my street, and before I knew it i was led to the clearing green, where I have been before bc here it looks out on the sea. But this time there was a labrythn there! And much as it could’ve been there when last I was here, I certainly didn’t see.
And I threw off my bag and ran to the labyrinth and gave out my intention sure as it’s been for this year all along. And round I walked and it was so immediate, how essential, and real. How I knew I was embodying the Imbolc tide, bc this is the Way w Earth Wisdom. To let her imbibe, to not just meditative tend but to be out and fee her. I don’t know who put this sacred spiral off the beaten path. But all thanks bc that was amazing.
I reached the center and constructed my own little offering. I knew with clarity what it said by the center, and what I had melted with in response by the time I reached the end. This is good medicine, a good posturing on the year: highest harmony and love. I talked for a long time then to a dear wise sister friend. Only very few would be allowed into Nature magic like that. It made me remember Spence, the surfer I met on the beach at sunset last year closer to traditional Imbolc. I took him hiking in to the canyon at dusk and showed him to open his sight and we were super dropped in and came eye to eye with coyote in the twilight.
And so, this is lunar Imbolc tide, from tonight until the New Moon of Monday night in to Tuesday. She will move you if merely say yes to the most minor wild whisperings in your soul. Traditional Imbolc is Feb 1, this is Christian’s Brigid’s Day or the Feast of this Goddess/Saint. Goddess of first light, instinct, vision of pre-dawn insight, first seed. Poeticly charged and inspired. My patroness. This magic will therefor last until the full moon of Feb 3.
SO RAD to be out there and let the harmony of earth-wild tide move me. I tended my inner tides in the labyrinth and saw very clearly some of the precious gold seeds ready to grow with the season of the sun. I made offerings about the land and took some newest shoots of black sage. It’s exciting, I have a graduation coming up and then…so much room for fun 🙂
All love, happy tides! Begin within, then go on and get out there!
The last thing there is with ease is craziness in this world.
Here in the house of my grandparents where only my mom and dad now live it is dark, far darker than any other place I’ve ever been. That includes both sets of coastal mountain regions where I’ve been lucky enough to stay, over on the upper half of the west coast. Winter comes darker here in this pine-shrouded place mere miles from Ma Atlantic, in a way that’s way darker than anywhere else in my world. It is, this trip, a darkness of peace. So too this wild shining full moon: this bolt of truth-light lit up around the seeds that fell under winter-solstice’s new moon.
Wild-eyed, moony vision, passions elemental in precision, lifeforce stirrings in pine-wind and starlight. Crazyyy. I used to call such potency “Mad-Poet Vision”. Nods to the tribe who hold the line of such teachings: my name or words for this derive from Allen Ginsburg’s studies of poet-ecologist Gary Snyder, who brought the teachings back from the monks in Japan. It is, condensed, what Ginsburg taught eventually as First Thought, Best Thought.
To infiltrate the yak yak of the linear, egoic (or “male” animus mind), we allow the wild stirrings, the deeper impressionistic vibes that are psyche’s messengers to have their way.
We have been programmed, in part from societal conditioning, to believe these are two different energies and that the one that is personally predominant is such according to your gender. In truth they are a continuum of single energy manifested as receptive or active depending on your state of consciousness. Every man is intuitive and receptive and every woman is thought-driven and purposeful, or so do we each have these capacities.
One of the reasons women repress their strength or natural association with the realm of the feminine godhead (and therefor with the realm of the collective unconscious) is because we in Western society esteem a male God. The feminine, however, was at one time divined among many other aspects through menstrual mysteries. During the 14th and 15th centuries 9 million women burnt at the stake because of a document known as the malleus malefic arum which associated menstrual mysteries with being a witch. (see Shuttle and Redgrove’s (2005) The Wise Wound for more info.) Thus inherent feminine wisdom had to be buried deep within the collective psyche, so that it is demonized or repressed and therefor shamed to the extent that rhythmic knowledge of one’s own psyche either as a female, or in regards to anima or feminine instincts, became associated with Satanism!
Diane diPrima, the female contemporary of the above fellows, brought her esoteria more home to her own experience. Also entering the door via studies of Eastern cosmology, diPrima discovered the archetypal mind of the Godess, or the feminine divine. To work more closely with this metaphor, as a counterpart to the more known and illumined God, the Goddess oversees the realm of dark, night, intuition, death and rebirth (because the female rules the women’s mysteries, of which birth is one) receptivity, and on a more temporal or practical level, emotions, though that is equally an embodied male or animus or egoic part of the process as well (see Ann Ulanov’s interpretation for more on this.)
It makes sense that 50’s gnosis would seek Eastern tradition for enlightenment, in that it was an overt response to the subversive tactics of the US Government during the McCarthy era, a time which saw people like Ginsburg and Leroi Jones (who became later known as Amiri Baraka) on trial for obscenity in their poetry. To quote a line of diPrima’s Rant, THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION/ALL OTHER WARS ARE SUBSUMED IN IT (sic). To keep a people anesthetized on the illusion of Descartes self-vs other (embodied hate projected outwards) is the best way to keep them from opening the door to explore that our complexes begin, and can be transformed, from within. Eastern tradition introduced these 50’s rebel poets to the concept of non-dualism.
So it is that first thought, best thought was born. Jack Kerouac actually took this concept and re-visioned what the modern novel could be–allowing for a trance-like, ecstatic spiral stream of consciousness to penetrate the tops layers of personality into the more free-associative realms of the deeper psyche. This is first thought, best thought: to follow the flow of the psyche in image, sensation, words, sounds, and to not resist what it arrives with or where it leads. To especially have no plan, but, as in the case of the writer, to be a channel for and follow the words. It is, throughout this act, how the artist speaks for the society by wheeling deeper and deeper into the collective unconsciousness and bringing out more and more to the host of light, or animus/ego-consciousness.
I learned almost all of this information in books, long before I went to an Institution to study it. In fact, I had to skip school this past weekend out of reverence for the holy Poetry first thought best thought mad-eyed seeing in the dark vision. Despite my school’s worldly attempt to foster an environment that esteems Hillman’s non-literalization of the image, the final point is if you study this stuff too much instead of trying to live it–to actively dance the day with the doors of the psyche open and free–you deaden the archetypal mind. You Kill the Soul.
So it is, this moon brings me to mind of the celebration of the Tribe of the Wild-Eyed. Those of us out there being it. Surrendering, again and again, all ideas in favor of the WILD, in favor of the psyche, the inner Nature, the Soul. May the outward full moon light, symbol of consciousness and focus, of male-orientation (the full moon reflects the light of the sun!) which shine-throttled through your personal dark all weekend long and likely stirred the wildinnereyes! Guide you inward and through doing so, help you re-relate. As always my prayers are that you re-relate in gentleness and love. May this moon light be ecstatic vision, may your trust in it be as strong as my reverent love for it. May it guide you ever home.
If there’s anything to learn from diPrima and her tribe, it is that the Wild Eyed Vision, the embodiment of psyche and soul, the interchanging dance of male/female within, can happen no matter who you are.
But let it happen. That’s the work. It takes practice to return. Again, again, again.
May we have no fear of the dark, and not hide the crazy that comes with it, that we’ve all been taught to fear~
Full Moon blessings and thoughts~
As this bright light shines our way into and through the darkness, we sighhh together, knowing the roundness of the wisdom path. This full moon is connected to the going-ons of the weekend prior to US Thanksgiving, when she was in her new phase. Under that New Moon our fears were so present on the surface of our heart. With this full light, outward manifestation of those fears, she plants us deeply in our personal work.
We see, or more appropriately, feel the strain and struggle of our own resistance to self. What we truly and deeply just Don’t Want to See. We are called passionately in ways that feel perhaps too large or profound to confront our inner dark or shadow. This week particularly has been a power-full one for seeing with open eyes what we fear the most come to life, or perhaps how we respond when confronted with lac of faith, or light.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Be with, be gentle, be with.
For with this phase we also quietly know that next new moon will bring the winter, and time for birthing of new stories.
What new stories will we rewrite, with the ink that bleeds out from the old?
On the harvest path of soul this is the time that the cut off growth of summer, what was too wild or overloaded and not yet ready to be concentrated into manifestation in our life, was cut back. We tended first harvest and threw some back to the earth. Now, we feel that which was once living turn to its fetid phase of compost-y shit, we feel the funk, we feel the fight of not wanting to surrender to the process of sludge.
We fight, and in fighting, lose strength.
Rest, rest, resist the urge to resist, and know too that even resistance is part of the path.
Can we love what we resist?
For from the muck comes the growth for the new seed, from the funk comes the grace of rebirth. Our sacred symbol for Christmas is a living pagan throwback: the evergreen. Sign of life even in the stillness of the growth season, when roots slumber and digest the old growth of the year past.
Know yourself: know your roots, know even that you resist. Know that even in death still there is green. That of death comes the room for new seed.
Love this, too… and This, and This too. May under this full moon, even This too, this part of your self cast away to the funk pile, as it now turns and wiles away back in to what will become fertile dirt…may you love even this, too. May you soften to you, to whatever it is you resist. We give thanks as we drop deeper and deeper within.